This morning saw me bonking. It’s not how it sounds.
But what is the bonk? The simple explanation for its occurrence is that long-endurance exercise depletes the body’s store of glycogen, which produces the energy required to maintain performance. When the glycogen depletes entirely, the body has no more fuel and instead burns fat, resulting in a surge of fatigue and a performance collapse. That’s the simple version anyway, but research shows it may be more complex than this nutritional description suggests, with genetics, mental factors and training all playing a role.
It has happened before, but not on the cereal aisle of Morrisons’ supermarket. Amongst all of the Sunday morning shoppers, most nudging towards their eighties, I suddenly stopped my perusal. I was about to faint and I knew that trouble was ahead.
Let me put this into context. I had been out for a decent ride a little earlier and I had not fuelled or refuelled. My gas gauge was on less then empty; not even fumes could counter the situation.
More context: My wife had decided that we should adopt a pincer-movement to the business of the weeekly shop. I was given my own trolley and she had hers. Our youngest daughter was to accompany her mother whilst I was given freedom to choose. It soon occured to me that this was not a plan that would end up with a satisfactory outcome.
I began to lean on the trolley in a fashion that I hate to see done by others. It’s a draping over the trolley handle and a shuffling forward with most of the weight being transferred to the wheeled vehicle. It reminds me of zombies. Now, I was a zombie enjoying one unholy bonk-fest.
Finally, my eyes happened upon the familiar figures of my wife and daughter. At first they didn’t seem to see me, but with a little squeak of ‘help’ they moved over to the grey thing that I had rapidly become. My daughter took her old man to the waiting car, after stopping off to get chocolate and an energy drink.
I never thought that I would say this, but I was finally pleased to eventually be bonk-free.